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ABK shareholders nod to 5% cash dividend

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Bank holds its AGM for 2021, approves 5% bonus shares

Kuwait, 17 April 2022: Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) concluded its Ordinary and Extraordinary General Meetings on Saturday, 16 April 2022. The General Meeting was held at 11:00 am followed by the Extraordinary General Meeting with an 92.337% voting rate. The event was held at the Bank’s Head Office Branch and all items on the agenda of the meetings were approved by a majority of 92.337%. 

Talal Behbehani, Chairman of ABK

Mr. Talal Mohamed Reza Behbehani, Chairman of ABK, commenced the event by welcoming the shareholders and the attendees and thanking them for their presence. Mr. Behbehani presented the Annual Report for the Financial Year 2021, noting that the Bank reported an Operating Profit of KD 82.1 Million, up 12% compared to 2020. Net Profit reached KD 27.2 Million and profit per share reached 12 fils. The Bank’s total assets increased by 16% to KD 5.6 Billion. The Group’s Loans and Advances increased by 9% reaching KD 3.4 Billion and Customer Deposits increased by 12% reaching KD 3.9 Billion. The Bank’s Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio stood at 1.55% in 2021 with an NPL coverage of 357% in comparison to 1.57% and NPL coverage of 339% during 2020. The Capital Adequacy Ratio stood at 18.27%.

At the meeting, the shareholders approved the Directors’ Report covering the financial activities of ABK for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2021. The shareholders approved the Board of Directors’ recommendation to distribute 5% Cash Dividend (5 fils per share), and to distribute 5% Bonus Shares (5 shares per 100 shares) of the issued and paid-up capital,by issuing 85,066,227 new shares distributed as free bonus shares to the shareholders registered in the Bank’s records on Wednesday, 11/05/2022. The issued and paid-up capital will be increased by KD 8,500,622.700 Million from the retained earnings. The Board of Directors has been authorized to dispose of the fractional shares as it deems appropriate.

Ratings

The Group maintained strong investment-grade ratings of A (stable) from Fitch and A2 (stable) from Moody’s. These ratings reflect ABK’s healthy capital position and excellent liquidity, which is fully compliant with the Central Bank of Kuwait’s conservative and robust regulatory system. 

Election of Board of Directors

The shareholders also elected the following (non-independent) members to join the Board of Directors for the next three-year term (2022-2024):

The non-independent members were elected as follows:

  1. Mr.  Talal Mohammed Reza Behbehani
  2. Mr. Salah Ahmad Serhan
  3. Mr. Ali Ebrahim Hejji Hussain Marafi
  4. Mr. Khaled Othman Abdulwahab Al Othman
  5. Mr. Adel Ibrahim Yali Ahmed Bebehani
  6. Mr. Raed Abdulkareem Al Moamen

Mr. Ahmed Hamad Al-Thunayan – representative of the Public Institution of Social Security – was appointed as a non-independent member.

The following two reserve members were also elected:

1) Mohammed Saleh and Redha Yousef Behbani Company (first reserve member)

2) Behbehani Investment Company (second reserve member)

The following independent members were also selected:

  1. Zaid Khaldoun Hassan Al-Naqeeb
  2. Mr. Tarek Fareed Abdulrahman Al Othman
  3. Mr. Mahdi Ismael Ali Al Jazzaf

The Extraordinary General Assembly also approved an increase in the Bank’s capital by KD 8,500,622.700 which represents 5% of the capital, by issuing 85,006,227 new shares to be distributed among Shareholders registered in the Bank’s records as bonus shares at a rate of 5% (five shares per hundred shares), and it was approved to increase the Bank’s capital (through bonus shares) from 170,012,454.500 dinars to 178,513,077.200 dinars.

George Richani, ABK Group CEO

Simpler Banking

Mr. George Richani, ABK Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “We made great strides on our ‘Transformation and Growth’ strategy in 2021, which yielded a strong financial performance that was further supported by the global economic recovery. ABK’s International operations in Egypt and UAE performed exceptionally well, contributing 40 % of the Group’s Total Operating Income. We expect to maintain a steady momentum in 2022 and are confident that we can continue to execute our strategy, strengthening our key strategic priorities – capital, cost, liquidity, assets and governance.”

Mr. Richani also emphasized that under the ‘Transformation and Growth’ strategy, ABK will continue to invest heavily in the Bank’s digital agenda, drive efficiency and enhanced customer experience, strengthen the Bank’s presence within different demographics, and introduce new products, and services. The Group will also continue to invest in recruiting a talented workforce and maintaining its national cadres, developing human resource performance, and integrating overseas operations into the Group.

A Sustainable Future

The Bank’s first sustainability report was launched in 2021, and has set a benchmark that will pave the way for a more sustainable future. ABK is committed to endorsing ESG as a vital pillar in the way the teams conduct and operate the business. The Bank will continue reporting its ESG performance and accomplishments with utmost transparency to accelerate human progress toward ensuring community and environmental sustainability.

ABK also reaffirms its commitment to the ‘Let’s Be Aware’ Diraya’ campaign from the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Kuwait Banking Associaion. 

Group Photo from right to left:GM, Board Affairs – FAWZY AL THUNAYAN. Chairman – TALAL BEHBEHANI,
GCEO – GEORGE RICHANI and Deputy GCEO – ABDULLA ALSUMAIT

Appreciation

In conclusion, Mr. Bebehani said, “On behalf of ABK I would like to thank the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Capital Markets Authority for their ongoing support of the Kuwait banking sector.  I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Bank’s valued shareholders, partners, and customers for their ongoing commitment  and loyalty to ABK.  I also thank the ABK staff for their dedication and hardwork.”

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